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Tag: Barack Obama (1-10 of 21)

'Double Down' scoop: Chris Christie's baggage, the Clinton-for-Biden swap, and Clint Eastwood's convention speech

You don’t need to DVR Meet the Press every Sunday morning to appreciate Double Down, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s chronicle of the 2012 election. Even with two vanilla main characters like Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, the two journalists behind Game Change have a supporting cast that would make the Coen brothers tremble in jealousy. There’s Joe Biden and Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Chris Christie, Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann and the rest of the Republican-primary sideshow. With Double Down, the two “inside” journalists pick through the carcasses of the losing side, shed light on the decisions of the victors, and wrap every chapter conclusion with an unwritten postscript that seems to say, “Is this really the best way to pick a leader?”

Double Down examines plenty of what-ifs — Hillary for V.P? — and even more what-will-bes, as it sets the table for Game Change III: 2016, which could feature Hillary Clinton squaring off against combative New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Until then, let’s dig into Double Down‘s most-talked-about revelations:

Hillary almost replaced Biden on the ticket

Well, no, not almost. But the White House gave it some serious thought. Biden was loyal to Obama and useful during the first term, but he had crossed wires with the White House on Catholic organizations’ exceptions for women’s birth control as part of Obamacare, and jumped the gun on gay marriage. He was not part of the president’s inner circle, and Halperin and Heilemann compared him and Obama’s doomed Chief of Staff Bill Daley to the ol’ fogey Muppets in the balcony, Waldorf and Statler. Funny then, that Daley — who’d been Biden’s own political director back in 1988 — had argued for Hillary Clinton to take his old boss’s spot on the Democratic ticket in 2012. Clinton had seen her reputation soar in her new duties as Secretary of State, and was beloved by the party. The campaign tested the idea on focus groups, and ultimately decided that Clinton wouldn’t move the needle enough to make the switch. According to the authors, Biden never knew he’d “dodged a bullet he never saw coming.” READ FULL STORY

Obama adviser David Axelrod plans memoir for 2014

One of President Barack Obama’s top advisers and strategists during his first term has a book deal.

David Axelrod is working on a memoir scheduled for fall 2014. At least two other former Obama administration officials, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Timothy Geithner, also have books planned next year.

Penguin Press announced Axelrod’s book on Tuesday. According to Penguin, Axelrod will write about his long friendship with Obama and offer his views on elections and government.

Axelrod helped run Obama’s successful campaigns in 2008 and 2012 and worked as an adviser to the president during his first term. The 58-year-old former political writer and ex-columnist for the Chicago Tribune recently joined NBC News as a senior political analyst.

Read more:
Hillary Clinton authoring book on Secretary of State tenure, coming 2014
Margaret Thatcher biography to be released after her funeral
Jackie Robinson biopic ’42′ gets high praise from Michelle Obama

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner lands book deal with Crown Publishers

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Former United States Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner has scored a book deal with Random House imprint Crown Publishers.

Geithner’s memoir, which is slated for 2014, will provide a “behind-the-scenes” look at the financial crisis, specifically offering a “play book” for future policy makers to draw on, as well as helping the public to understand how and why governments act in crisis.

“In telling this inside story, Secretary Geithner will chronicle how decisions were made during the most harrowing moments of the crisis, when policy makers faced a fog of uncertainty, risked catastrophic outcomes, and had no institutional memory or recent precedent to guide them,” Crown Publishers said in a press release. READ FULL STORY

Cass Sunstein, Obama's former regulatory chief, writing book

A former Obama administration official has a book coming about how government might work in the future.

Cass Sunstein, President Barack Obama’s regulatory chief for three years, has a deal with Simon & Schuster for Simpler: The Future of Government. The publisher announced Wednesday that the book is scheduled for release in June.

According to Simon & Schuster, Simpler will offer an accessible look past the debate of big and small government and outline simple and democratic regulations.

Sunstein has written or co-written numerous books, including Nudge, On Rumors, and The Second Bill of Rights.

Republicans and Democrats read differently, according to a Goodreads infographic -- PHOTO

We’ll be subjected to election polling results nonstop until November, but here’s a different kind of stat: Goodreads has released an infographic analyzing the literary tastes of its users based on political party. Not all of the results are particularly shocking — Mitt Romney supporters are much more likely to read the best-selling Heaven Is For Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back, which recounts Colton Burpo’s trip to meet God while undergoing an emergency appendectomy, and Republicans, as always, tend to love Ayn Rand. Interestingly, Obama supporters are harsher critics of books (and debate performances?) and are three times more likely to have read novels by Jonathan Franzen. Check out the full results below: READ FULL STORY

'The Obamas' by Jodi Kantor: The EW Review

the-obamas

Jodi Kantor, a New York Times correspondent, says she got the idea for The Obamas back in 2009, when she interviewed the couple in the Oval Office for a piece about their marriage. “After the article was published, I couldn’t stop thinking about the subtle tension I had felt in that room,” she writes. Although she never interviewed either the president or his wife again, she went on to talk to 33 White House staffers. The book that resulted isn’t, as advertised, about the Obamas’ marriage — not just because Kantor never spoke to them again, but also because the Obamas lead a cloistered life in Washington, going out even less than George and Laura Bush, who were famously private. The Obamas doesn’t tell us more than we already know about Barack Obama, either. It’s really a portrait of Michelle — and it’s not a kind one. READ FULL STORY

Michelle Obama book: cover art revealed!

The cover of First Lady Michelle Obama’s book was revealed this morning on iVillage, featuring a fantastic-looking Obama holding a basket of vegetables in front of that famed White House garden. American Grown: How the White House Kitchen Garden Inspires Families, Schools and Communities, due out on April 10, will be about the First Lady’s passion project: healthy food for everyone.

Read more:
What’s on your workout playlist? For Michele Obama, it’s a whole lot of Beyonce
Barack Obama, Steven Spielberg, Bill Gates and others remember Apple legend Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs’ food weirdnesses: Fasts, living on apples or carrots for weeks on end, fruit smoothie diets

On the Books: Morgan Spurlock wants to hear about your failed novel, National Book Awards announce 5 under 35

++ Chad Harbach need not apply. For those of you (okay, us) who moonlight as authors but have failed to write the Great American Novel, filmmaker and author Morgan Spurlock might be looking to tell your story — especially since you haven’t been able to do it yourself yet. Spurlock’s camp posted a casting call on Mediabistro for dreamers, including starving writers, who might be looking to switch to the much more stable profession of documentary subject. At the very least, starring in a movie will give you great material.

From the posting: READ FULL STORY

On the Books Aug. 22: New Decemberists video's literary roots, Obama's summer reading picks

Decemberists

++ Parks and Recreation showrunner Michael Schur, a David Foster Wallace fan, based the “Calamity Song” video he directed for the Decemberists on Wallace’s seminal novel Infinite Jest. Let the tennis balls fly!

++ Self-published author John Locke, not to be confused with the 17th century philosopher or a Smoke Monster, has entered an exclusive deal with Simon & Schuster to handle the distribution of physical copies of his books. Locke’s Donovan Creed novels, which have sold more than a million digital copies, will be available in traditional bookstores starting February 2012. READ FULL STORY

On the Books Mar. 17: Michelle Obama to write about White House vegetable garden

First lady Michelle Obama has signed on with Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, to pen a book about her garden on the South Lawn of the White House. To date, the garden has produced 2,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables and folds into the first lady’s campaign to promote healthy eating, creating community, and supporting local foods. Obama explained to the AP her intentions behind the project: “So we wanted to share the story with the rest of the nation and perhaps with the rest of the world, because we get so many questions about the garden: How did we do it? Why did we do it? How do I do this in my own home or community?” READ FULL STORY

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